Featured image credit: Liberia Track & Field

Update: an earlier version of this article incorrectly reported that Matadi might have suffered some type of injury. It was confirmed that he stopped his 200m race to prevent potential injury.

On Friday, Liberia had a chance to rest up and prepare for day four of the African Championships in Mauritius.

Three athletes raced on Saturday morning: Emmanuel Matadi, Akeem Sirleaf, and Wellington Zaza. All three advanced to the afternoon semifinals, but Liberia’s Sirleaf really stood out advancing to tomorrow’s championship finals.

Read the detailed races below.

Matadi’s 200m overview

Matadi secured his spot in the men’s 200m semifinals running 21.01 in round one. He placed second in his heat and was one step closer to the finals. However, after getting halfway through the race Matadi stopped to prevent a potential injury and did not finish.

Matadi was one of Africa’s lead 200m runners, going into the competition and a former African Championships men’s 200m bronze medalist.

Table 1.  from Mauritius Athletics Association website.
Rank Lane ID Name PB Team Cat Result Info
1 6 519 MUNYAI Clarence RSA Senior 20.52 Q
2 5 97 ESEME Emmanuel Alobwede CMR Senior 20.73 Q (20.726)
3 3 116 CISSE Gue Arthur CIV Senior 20.73 q (20.729)
4 4 227 AMOAH Joseph Paul GHA Senior 20.89
5 2 220 MAGANGA Gorra Guy GAB Senior 21.12
6 1 111 MAAROUFOU Hachim COM Senior 21.24
7 7 245 ASAMBA Dan KEN Senior 21.79
8 298 MATADI Emmanuel B LBR Senior DNF

Sirleaf secures a spot in finals

In the early morning, Sirleaf easily advanced to the men’s 200m semifinals, placing first in his heat. He ran 20.88 in round one. The Liberian sprinter has a 20.37 personal best and was expected to advance to the finals. He did not disappoint.

Sirleaf ran a 20.75-seconds race to secure his spot in the African Championships 200m finals. He ran in the second fastest heat and placed third. Tomorrow, Sirleaf will represent Liberia in the fifth and final day of the African Championships.

Table 2.  from Mauritius Athletics Association website.
Rank Lane ID Name PB Team Cat Result Info
1 4 59 TEBOGO Letsile BOT Senior 20.58 Q
2 7 500 DAMBILE Sinesipho RSA Senior 20.69 Q
3 6 299 SIRLEAF Akeem LBR Senior 20.75 q
4 3 262 MIKE Nyang’au KEN Senior 21.06
5 8 2657 KAKENE SITALI ZAM Senior 21.19
6 5 588 MAKUSHA Ngoni ZIM Senior 21.32
7 2 389 HAINUCA Gilbert Maseko NAM Senior 21.60
8 1 321 LIFFA Stern MAW Senior 21.63

Lastly, Liberia’s record-holding 110m hurdler, Zaza also ran a successful round-one 200m race. Zaza finished second in his heat clocking 20.97 seconds.

“If you notice, even the best hurdlers in the world, they run the 200,” Liberia head coach Sayon Cooper told Go Team Liberia. “I’m talking to his private coach to implement more 200 meter runs cause he can run a good 200,” Cooper added.

Indeed, Zaza ran a solid race and completed the men’s 200m semifinals in 21.09 seconds. He placed fourth in his heat and did not advance to the finals.

Table 3.  from Mauritius Athletics Association website.
1 4 338 BIBI Noa MRI Senior 20.82 Q
2 1 433 OKEZIE Chidi NGR Senior 21.01 Q (21.005)
3 8 56 PESELA Anthony BOT Senior 21.01 (21.010)
4 3 300 ZAZA Wellington LBR Senior 21.09
5 6 526 RICHARDSON Benjamin RSA Senior 21.11
6 7 587 MAKARAWU Tapiwa ZIM Senior 21.20
7 5 583 SIAME Sydney ZAM Senior 21.31
8 2 122 MULAMBA Lasconi COD Senior 21.79